A new breed of ‘super-ant’ is taking over UK gardens according to researchers at the University of York.
Protect your Garden from Super-Ants!
First discovered in the UK in 2009, Lasius neglectus is capable of building massive colonies of interconnected nests containing tens of thousands of insects and stretching for miles. Three new infestations have been found in the UK this year alone.
Native to Asia, they are likely to have arrived in the UK via imported plants. Though they don’t pose a threat to humans and are not aggressive, they are capable of driving native species to extinction by out-competing them for food and shelter. They’re also believed to be attracted to electricity, leading to concern that the ants could cause a fire by eating through power cables.
Super-Ants from Sussex to Yorkshire
Despite its common name, the super-ant is actually smaller than the common native UK ant and it’s hard to tell the two apart. It was first found in the UK at a National Trust property in Gloucestershire, where a colony of 35,000 had set up home. They’ve now been identified at sites from Sussex to Yorkshire. Scientists are now closely monitoring one of the earliest known colonies, in the Cambridge Botanic Gardens, in an attempt to investigate their impact on local ecosystems.